Alternative armor classes for special maneuvers

This campaign I have two players with lightly-armored barbarian characters. Both of them are pretty adamant that they shouldn’t be easy to disarm, just because they are wearing light armor. While I don’t have a huge problem with using standard AC on things like Overruns or Knock Downs, I do agree that it feels a little out of place for Disarming. I don’t want Conan to be constantly losing weapons, just because plate mail would cramp his style.

So I’m pondering various alternatives:

  1. Don’t use any AC at all. This would make disarm extremely powerful, maybe to the point of becoming mandatory. It would encourage everyone to carry additional weapons. It might also make unarmed combat more powerful, or at least more necessary.

  2. Use strength modifiers as “armor” for disarm. Almost the same, but this would give strong fighters a small edge. Feels sensible from a simulationist standpoint.

  3. Use full +damage modifiers as armor. A larger effect that helps fighters. Some logic, in that +damage is another good proxy for how firmly a weapon needs to be grasped.

Any thoughts? Has anyone else tried similar house rules for various special maneuvers?

I made up some rules on this a while ago. Don’t remember exactly what they were… I currently use both rules.

However, what about HD as AC for monsters, and 10 - base “to hit” for characters?

1st level fighter = (10 minus 10+) maneuver AC 0
2nd level fighter = (10 minus 9+) maneuver AC 1
You could modify by Str maybe.

Ugh… spelling correction… I meant to say btb rules.

You could make up something like pathfinder’s Combat Maneuver Bonus/Defense stats. They use an AC system that starts at 10, which is pretty easy to map to ACKs AC by using the reduction in attack throw target as what they would call “Base Attack Bonus”.

so your “CMB” would be just a basic attack throw, but it would need to hit an AC of your “CMD” which would be STR mod + DEX mod + the target’s attack throw reduction.

thus if a level 3 fighter with +2 STR and +1 Dex is squaring off against a level 3 barbarian with the same, and the fighter tries to disarm the barbarian, he would need to make a regular attack roll and hit AC 2+1+2 = 5. Note that this system doesn’t use the secondary benefit of saving throws to prevent maneuvers, and i’m not immediately sure if it would still need them.